Gold Medal Arrogance | News | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Gold Medal Arrogance 

Pin It
Favorite

A couple of weeks ago, we received e-mails from representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, chastising us for having the audacity to ask questions about LDS church policy and positions regarding child abuse. The senders, Mr. Dale Bills, church spokesman, and Mr. Michael Otterson, director of media relations, were particularly upset at what they regarded as an “accusatory” tone in the wording of those questions by freelance writer Andrea Moore Emmett. Prior, Emmett was getting stonewalled while working on a story about an alleged cover-up of sexual assault by male leaders within the LDS church.

Here’s what Otterson wrote: “We have long wondered whether it is even worth returning calls to City Weekly, since your stories seem to be pretty much conceived and written ahead of time. If you doubt this, then ask yourself why we would provide our top people to the Salt Lake Tribune and the Houston Chronicle for extensive features on the evils of child abuse, but give a curt response to you.

“If the City Weekly behaved as if it were a newspaper and not an underground scandal sheet, it might find a more ready response.”

Gee, Mrs. Lincoln, other than that, how was the play?

Mr. Otterson asked us to talk to ourselves about the situation. Only two things came up: 1. Where was the Deseret News on that story? and 2. Where do you get off calling us an underground scandal sheet?

The answer to the first is easy—the Deseret News gave faint coverage to the topic; even the Utah Supreme Court ruled in favor of the defendants. No surprise there—not talking about this issue was the issue. On the second matter, Mr. Otterson is up in the night, simple as that. But his statement is telling beyond measure, and classically answers why the LDS church—the one, true church—continually finds itself in the middle of public relations nightmares: He’s one arrogant dude.

One wonders if that arrogance is inherited or institutional. We’d like to think it’s isolated, but regarding the very same story, Dale Bills also provided us with a response. It began, “No organization does more to prevent abuse, to be sure its ecclesiastical leaders are aware of and obey reporting laws, to encourage sensitivity to child victims and their families, or to mitigate the effect of child abuse than does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

No organization does more to prevent abuse? You know, guys, if you’d get off your high horse fewer people would be asking you hard, “accusatory” questions. But, hey, they’re your Olympics…

Pin It
Favorite

More by John Saltas

  • Blame Me

    It's says something about the hip and personable Cox that he's able to win over so many democrats and independents, who, at minimum, acknowledge he's not a giant jerk.
    • Jan 2, 2019
  • No Compromise

    All day, every day, some part of my body hurts.
    • Nov 21, 2018
  • For Our Babies

    Not 10 percent of Utah's population, but near 100, will, during their lifetime, be affected either directly or through a family member by the pain of cancer, a different maddening disease or from blowing out a knee at Brigham Young University.
    • Oct 10, 2018
  • More »

Latest in News

  • Climate Gods

    What role can Utah's legislators play in addressing climate change?
    • Jan 16, 2019
  • This Poll's for You

    Utahns have another avenue to vent their liquor frustrations, but it only goes so far.
    • Jan 9, 2019
  • Ghosts of Olympics Past

    Stars of Salt Lake City's 2002 Winter Games: Where are they now?
    • Jan 2, 2019
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Wild Things

    With habitats shrinking, local wildlife call urban areas home.
    • Aug 9, 2017
  • Taking the Plunge

    Once flourishing, derelict bath house faces uncertain future.
    • Sep 13, 2017

© 2019 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation